Pros: Easy to use, safe, challenging, nice features.
I started using an upright exercise bike in the spring knowing we would be biking over the summer. I have been used to recumbent bikes, which are low to the ground and have a back support. I had back problems so I stayed away from upright bikes in the gym. My back has been fine for years so Im back on the upright stationary bike my gym has which is the Cybex 700.
Features and How to Use It:
I will tell you the features by walking through how I use it and adding other options that I may not use frequently. This bike does a lot. Well start with the wide comfortable seat. Unless you are very oversized then you will fit comfortably on the soft seat. I can ride it for an hour without feeling discomfort. It is a bit tricky to move the seat up and down unless you know how. The seat sits on what looks like a hose. Below the hose is a knob. This knob pulls out. The seat lowers or rises smoothly like it works on some kind of air pressure. You can raise it or lower it if you are on it but it is easily if you are off of the bike.
The seat adjusts to a height that will be right for most everyone. I lower it so about 1/4 of the hose shows and I am 5ָ tall. Once the seat is adjusted you will sit on the bike and put your feet through the straps that are on the pedals. They fit comfortably and are adjustable. When my feet hurt me I go to the bike rather than the treadmill or elliptical because there is less pressure. You may find this as well.
You must start pedaling in order to start the programs. This is how every bike I have been on works but other exercise equipment does not, so if you get this home or get to the gym and it wont start, thats why.
It does need to be assembled if you are buying it from home. I did approximate measurements of this bike.
It is about 37 inches long, 16 inches wide and 29 inches high. I asked one of the trainers what they thought it weighed and he said about 85 pounds.
Once you start pedaling the display will tell you to choose a program. The options are manual, fat burning, strength, and endurance. Press one of the flat squares on the display unit and then hit enter. This is a very easy to read display. The letters are large and some parts of it light up.
After I have pressed, lets say manual (What I did today.), I am asked how many minutes I want to bike for. There are 2 triangles, one is right side up for higher amounts and the other is inverted for lower amounts. I pushed the triangle to make the numbers go up to 45. These features are not hard to utilize. It is a soft touch of the pad that will make this work. If I had gone to 60 minutes and wanted to lower it I would have just pressed the inverted triangle. I then hit enter and I am on my way.
The bike displays the following: elapsed time, time remaining, calories burned, calories per hour, RPM, distance, heart rate and level. There is a switch display pad that will allow you to go back and forth since these displays are situation in 2 rows one on top of the other.
I use the triangles to raise or lower the level of intensity I want to use. The levels go from 1-15. I like to interval train, which means I am constantly going back and forth among levels and it is very easy to do. I can change the program or level at any time. I dont have to start all over to do that.
There is an advanced option pad as well and I use this frequently unless I am just going to warm up on the bike. If I were going to be on it for less than 20 minutes I wouldnt bother to input the data. The advanced options, which I did use today, asked me my calorie goal. I then hit enter and it asks me how much time I want and I use the pads, it then says calories and using the pads again I put in how many calories I want to burn, for example, 200. I then press enter and when I have hit 200 calories if it is before the time I have input then the bike tells me Im finished!
I am then given on the display a summary of my workout with the distance I have gone, the average speed and how many calories I used. In the above case I know but you will get this summary even if you dont choose to use the calorie pad. I dont always.
The advanced options also give you the ability to bike as a group race or solo race. If I choose, for example solo race and hit enter it asked what my goal is. I can tell the bike using the pads whether I want to go ? a mile, 1 mile or whatever. This is not an option I use frequently, though I think it is a good one, especially if you are training for an event or perhaps I will start using it to get ready for our next bike adventure.
It is at the advanced options that you can program your weight and age. It seems that the numbers on all exercise equipment is off about 20%. Thats all right as long as you are using the same equipment. If I want to burn 200 calories today and do so, but tomorrow use another machine at another gym, I might be told that I used up 200 calories but I really used 160 today and tomorrow the 200 might be 180. I have never spoken with anyone who has any real concerns about this but there have been exposes on television letting us know that these are not exact numbers.
The display in the middle has small round dots that light up and chart my progress as I either climb a hill or just move slowly on level ground. This same display unit has a ledge that will hold a magazine.
The other two very important controls and part of the name of this bike are the heart rate controls. When I hit the top heart rate pad it asks for my age and then tells me what percent my pulse would be at 80%. For some people, especially people who are exercising for heart problems knowing these numbers is crucial. Hitting the bottom pad I am told what my heart rate would be if I were at 85% of my maximum, lets say 143 and if I hit it again it will tell me another number, 75% which would be 126.
While biking just put your hands on the bar right in front of you. It couldnt be easier. There is nothing to press or hold down. As soon as my hands go on the bar the heart display on the unit flashes and within a few seconds I was told, today, that my heart rate was 132 so I knew I was somewhere between 75 and 85% of my maximum heart rate.
The handlebars are padded and very comfortable. They are in a u shape along the display unit. You can choose to hold onto any part of these handles or not hold on at all. It is very safe to ride this piece of equipment.
My final thoughts:
Cybex 700 is a great bike for almost anyone of any age. I would put no restrictions on it but before starting an exercise program please speak with your doctor.
I find the upright bike to be more challenging than the recumbent. If you want the challenge and do not have a back problem I would recommend the upright. It is much harder to cheat or sit back and read. I do read at times when I am riding but on the recumbent it is just too easy to literally sit back and read and pedal slowly!
I like the Cybex brand. My gym only has Cybex cardiovascular equipment and Ive been very happy using Cybex. I have used others as well and have liked them too.
This particular bike is nice because it is one of the smaller bikes Ive been on and it takes up less room then the recumbent so it easily will fit in a corner of a room just dont use it as a clothes hanger!
I love the fact I dont need any special equipment to get my heart rate. There are still cardio pieces where you have to have your own heart rate monitor, which I dont have. This is a super feature. I like the comfort, safety and number of features as well. You won't get a high tech bike, there are no computer monitors or disc players, but you will get a good bike at a reasonable price.
Please feel free to ask me a question or leave a comment. I am a personal trainer so Ive been around a lot of equipment.
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